You have to cut it out as soon as possible. Look at the link on this forum that goes to the surgery (it should be stickied at the top of the emergency section)....scrape all of the white gunk out and try to get the kernel, which at its worst looks like a corn kernel or a stalactite . If the black callus has a stalactite sticking inwards from it, that may be it...but you still need to get the pus out in case it has any tiny particles of that in it. The kernel reaches in and grows in compartments that it makes....its pretty crazy but you can find it established in places where you couldnt imagine that it would be...so follow the pus. It likes inbetween the toes on the top!
Tea tree oil doesnt work (!!) but injecting it directly with Tylan will work ...just first get all the pus out. Use bactine spray as a pain killer.
Bumblefoot is a staph infection and the actual infection is the kernel that is in the pus. Youve got to get as much of the pus out as is possible. Use good tweezers and some sort of knife scraper thing like small scissors or a dental instrument. Spray it well with bactine and keep everything clean. You can run the foot under water...and its gonna bleed alot...
be careful of the white tendons in the foot but otherwise scrape all around in the hole until all of the pus is out.
The problem is that while youre dabbing it with tea tree oil or blue kote and waiting, the staphis going into the bone and it will kill the foot and/or the chicken. I just lost one that was given to me by someone and th eperson hadnt noticed that the foot was terribly swollen....I worked on it for hours; never seen anything like it!
But it was just too late. Poor thing got worse and worse and finally died of the infection.
Ive had it go up the leg in some of them and actually soften the bone and tendons.
Some just put down bumblefoot chickens, but Ive had some good success in treating...but its very touch and go.
Try to find the source of the infection!! You perches may need ot be sanded or you may have a thorn bush in an area where they are scratching.
Its not something that just comes up by itself...something sharp makes a hole in the foot and the infection (which is everywhere) gets in. Then it slowly grows until its all up the leg and in the bone.
If you catch it really early and pull out the plug in the foot and scrape around, it gives the bird a better chance of survival.
Look at a healthy chicken foot...there isnt a "fat pad" much to speak of...usually by the time the chicken has a black callus plug, its gonna have a pad full of infection and it will need ot be scraped out, packed with neosporin and wrapped.
The soak is much more involved because you have to do it so much. Its dangerously strong stuff and I didnt find that it worked better....try it in the early stages.....and if you've got a foot that still has pus in it, then Im sorry to say that you only went part way...and you still have to clean it out.
the ones with blu kote will get it much worse if you dont try to address it now. Sometimes its not swollen at all and there is alot of pus inside...
Id get it out, bandage them, and keep them clean...repeat as necessary...and spend the time to really clean it out...
the only thing that can go very wrong is if you cut a tendon, you can hurt the foot permanently...and I do have a couple of hens that cant walk perfectly because of that little mistake...but they were very bad cases and they were also how I learned...they have had a long, long life since then and are happy.
Also, I have not had much of it since I found the source in my yard!
besides the girls that came with it from another place, Ive had very little, and on the birds that Ive treated successfully, Ive had no recurrence. But it took literally months....and I used inject able antibiotics such as tylan 50, directly in the wound and kept the pus out.
I have that leghorn who's body compartmentalized the foot and it dried up and fell off!!...she walks on a stump and I keep some vet wrap on it....recently I noticed that she had a little callus on the bottom of her stump when I was changing the bandage and....boom...recurrence...right up the leg....the infection must have left a tiny part in there. It was a kernel and came out clean, but now Im watching it carefully because she is a great hen and very happy...a good layer and one of my older birds.
Staph is a very serious thing, and thats why you need to be careful yourself...wear gloves!!